Ubykh Personal Names, by Viacheslav Chirikba

Iran and the Caucasus 27 (2023) 196-207 [Brill].

The paper presents a survey of the system of Ubykh personal names. The traditional structure of Ubykh names was binary, consisting of a surname and a postposed personal name. Alternative structures included a preposed family name plus two or more personal names, or a surname, plus a patronymic, plus a personal name. Besides a few native Ubykh names, the majority of names are“Oriental” (Turkish/Turkic, Arabic, Jewish, Persian, etc.), Circassian or Abkhazian, or of unclear origin. There are also hybrid names combining names or formants of different languages.

The Ubykh People

Ubykhs were a small indigenous people of the Caucasian Black Sea coast where they lived for millennia. It is assumed that their ancestors were known to the Byzantines under the name of Brukhoi, which some authors see as the Greek attempt to render the Ubykh self-name tʷaχə́. The Ubykhs’ closest ethnic kin are Abkhazians and Circassians. Being a warrior nation, the Ubykhs took an uncompromising stance in the struggle against the Russian advance to their lands in the middle of the 19th century, which sealed their fate, leading to a wholesale deportation by the Tsarist government of the entire Ubykh nation in 1864 to Ottoman Turkey. Scattered over the vast territories of Anatolia, small Ubykh groups lost contact with each other, being surrounded by other populations—Circassians, Abkhazians, Turks, Kurds, Laz, Greeks or Armenians, and within the 150 years that followed their exodus they lost their mothertongue. The last fully competent speaker of Ubykh, the now famous Tevfik Esenç, died in 1992, and with him died the whole universe of the unique Ubykh language.

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See also:

+ Viacheslav Chirikba. "The Ubykh People Were in Practice Consumed in the Flames of the Fight for Freedom" 
+ Ubykhs, by T. Tatlok - Caucasian Review, Vol. 7 (1958) 
+ Le verbe oubykh. Études descriptives et comparatives (The Ubykh Verb: Descriptive and Comparative Studies), by Georges Dumézil 
+ Abkhaz Personal Names, by Viacheslav Chirikba




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